A devoted couple who were killed in a car crash were found HOLDING HANDS in the wreckage, their devastated son revealed today.
Tragic John Hodgkiss, 82, and wife Betty, 79, reached out to clasp on to each other as they lay dying in the front seats of their smashed up Ford Mondeo.
Rescuers arrived at the heartbreaking scene to find the grandparents-of-four, who had been married 52 years, tenderly touching hands for a final time following the fatal crash.
Retired bus driver John was pronounced dead at the scene while Betty was airlifted to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital where she died
the next day.
Son David, 47, said the sweethearts, from Tipton, West Mids., had used their final moments together to ‘say goodbye’.
He described his mum and dad as a ‘brilliant’ and sociable couple.
He said: “The most comforting thing for me is that they have gone together.
“We were told that they were found holding hands in the car so they must have had time to say goodbye to each other.
“We want to thank all their friends and neighbours and our family for being so supportive and also the emergency services too for what they did and the family police liaison officer.
“I’m still devastated.”
David, from Dudley, West Mids., added that John and Betty had met by chance on a coach over 50 years ago.
His dad, a former army corporal, had been driving a tour group to the London Palladium from the West Midlands when he and Betty started chatting.
They were together for 10 months before getting married at Hill Top
Methodist Church, West Bromwich, in 1961.
The couple moved to Bilston, West Mids., a decade later, where they
lived in the same house for 43 years.
John and Betty had been making the 20-mile drive from their home to The River and Rail Country Inn, near Bridgnorth, Shrops.
The tragic crash occurred on the A458 at Wooton, Six Ashes, Shrops., when their black Ford Mondeo smashed into an Audi A4 TDI coming from the opposite direction at around 2.30pm on June 7.
John had bought the automatic car just six weeks ago after suffering
mobility issues and undergoing a hip operation last October.
The couple also had a daughter-in-law, Jackie and granddaughters,
Rebecca, Jessica, Katie and Samantha.
Former colleagues paid tribute to the former bus driver, known as ‘Big Jack’, describing him as a ‘brilliant bloke’.
Dave Bacon wrote: “A brilliant bloke sadly missed we had loads of
laughs with him at Wolverhampton canteen when Jack was on the 79 RIP old pal.”
Paul Scerri added: “Devastated! I’ll never forget Big Jack with his witty comments and practical jokes!
“‘A gentle giant’ May you both be at peace with the lord.”